Tue. Jun 25th, 2024
Black parents and their children are more likely to experience unfair treatment when seeking medical care, study finds


Black parents and their children are more likely to experience unfair treatment when seeking medical care than others, a new study from the Urban Institute found.

The study, released earlier this week, is based on data from the nonprofit’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey, the latest round of which was conducted in June.

Researchers found that about 22% of Black parents said they were judged unfairly or mistreated because of their race or ethnicity, language, health insurance type, weight, income, disability or other characteristics.

The rate at which Black parents reported this treatment was about 10% higher than parents who are White, Hispanic or who identify as part of other racial groups, the survey found.

“These experiences are disproportionately affecting parents of color and their children, especially Black parents, and so understanding and interrupting these experiences of under-treatment and health care could be an important step towards helping to close a lot of the racial and ethnic health inequities that we see,” Dulce Gonzalez, a senior researcher at the Urban Institute and co-author of the study, told CNN.

Race, ethnicity, country of origin and primary language were among the most common reasons why Black parents said they were treated unfairly.

The study found that 7 in 10 parents who reported experiencing unfair health care treatment were more likely to delay treatments after those experiences.

The unfair treatment could have negative health consequences, cause additional stress to patients and lead them to mistrust the health care system to the point of forgoing necessary treatments, Gonzalez said.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes that are needed on multiple fronts that address … not only sort-of implicit and explicit biases that providers and their staff could hold towards people of color, but also just broader changes in how we’re delivering health care,” she said.

The survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of 9,494 US adults ages 18 to 64, but the analysis was based on the responses of 2,981 parents of children under age 19.

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